M Eighteen Téllez

Gentry

the cleared out Cedar Park Cafe that we all thought would go too when Elena's Soul Cafe burned down and the demolition crew almost destroyed the two adjacent businesses with it

Ya’ll are some fools! I’m yelling and gnashing my teeth and screeching at them in modified Common to pay attention. But these gentry don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. You know that? Then they get robbed and laughed at and their goddamn feelings hurt cause they wanna talk to me and I tell them their Common ain’t shit — nobody can understand what the fuck they talking about! Don’t come to this end of the city like you know what this place is! But they come anyway.

Don’t you know? One time in ancient history someone came up with the idea that says, to fool and become an important human being you first must be white; secondly — totally understanding; third — never totally actually directly responsible (accept this); and fourth — that you will move through space outside of history (just like an astronaut!) and come to truly know yourself only by trying out other people’s cultures.

Except if you can’t fucking speak Common, how the fuck . . .

I don’t get it either, and they think I’m like them, and then they get Sensitive when I’m like that’s not how you use Jawn and that’s not what Salty means here, and that’s not how you act on the train, and you never heard of Belmont Plateau? You been living here for ten years five years three years you never heard of that place?

All these young white punks fresh from college and suburbia, responsible young moms as far as the eye can see, touring upper class parents here to survey the neighborhood — YOU KNOW SOMETHING? UPENN THROWS DOWN HALF ON A HOUSE IN WEST PHILLY IF YOU WORK FOR THEM? SO HOW CAN I GET A JOB? Gentry keeps coming in, crawling over Malcolm X Park and the block of Osage the city bombed to the ground, and nobody has any memory and everything is so charming, and they don’t even know we’re here and don’t even care! Cause they don’t know Common? BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER CAUSE THEY THINK THEY DO!!

You know, I never lived in a place that was gentry-fied before. I was living out by 48th and Baltimore down the street from my aunt. They call that area Middle Hill now and my aunt stays holed up with her cat in her Victorian rowhome with her Classic Olde Philly accent (the only one the realtors recognize, anyway) looking at her property taxes like she don’t know what she’s gonna have to do. And I moved back to Olney, out by the empty fields where the HK Mart used to be, and the abandoned middle school at Godfrey . . . Live by my parents finally — my stepdad’s got a grill, my mom’s got a little library going, and my little brother, he builds stuff that keeps things DRY. You know they say Levittown is a swamp now? That and the whole shit by Cobbs Creek — lotta places. It’s from the overflowed rivers and all the old backed up drainage systems in the city, and they only send out the truancy officers to those parts, rounding up all those badassed lazy kids and throwing them in detention schools, which YOU KNOW, are the only kinds of free schools this city GOT anymore, and my nana woulda been pissed to have her taxes go to those nasty kids! But what she doesn’t know is that we’re all living with the possums and raccoons now, and those loudass coquís. Her basement’s been flooded and her house is falling down empty.

And me, I go to work downtown for this young gay PhD couple taking car of their dogs. They work at the experimental charter school district — not the Penn one, the other one sponsored by PEW down by the Delaware. You know, the Delaware’s off limits, too. Might as well call it the Columbus River, if you hear what I’m saying, and let us merry men stick to our trashy creeks up the way . . .

And we’ll keep speaking in Common and remember the old blocks and these fools will stay making some other city on top of ours. Cause they don’t know that we’re here, and they don’t fucking care.

 

GENTRY was recently performed for LIVE at Kelly Writer’s House (available to listen here), and originally appeared in the space invaders edition of the Metropolarity Journal of Speculative Vision & Critical Liberation Technologies (available 4 free here). It was also assigned reading in a University of Pennsylvania undergraduate English department class, but Eighteen, who lives blocks away from campus, was not present to give any context to the piece whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally posted here 22 October 2015
More METROPOLARITY

STYLE OF ATTACK REPORT

2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist in LGBTQ SF/F/Horror
"Style of Attack is amazing! It's like our generation's Snow Crash but way better; feel like it's exactly the kind of work that people need to be making and reading right now. Metropolarity is killing it."
METROPOLARITY is a DIY sci-fi collective based, bred, and tested in the colliding future-present of Philadelphia. This Style of Attack Report contains select work from METROPOLARITY's four founding members, who contribute theory, practice, and experience of home grown speculative visioning for both historical documentation as well as personal and collective survival. The collection serves as a model and a record of how Black, brown, queer, low-resource, working, ill and in-recovery people can project themselves into the future, conjuring resources, technology, and magic that aid us in the present.

Also this sci-fi is FIRE cuz the crew don't play.


122 pages
4.25" x 7"
13.00 USD

Buy Now
For wholesale, contact metropolarity at gmail.
Request a copy at your local library.
Add it to your Goodreads.

UNCOLLECTED TALES

The Ark Charted Prism That Promised It's Light
Galactic
The Three Known Tales of Hatim Muzumbo
And Now I Am the Loveliest

FUTURE NOW EPISODE

JOURNAL OF SPECULATIVE VISION & CRITICAL LIBERATION TECHNOLOGIES: SE 2 EP 1

FULL PDF
A Young Thug Confronts His Own Future
IT IS OKAY - Laura Pollard
SPONSORED MESSAGES from grey nebraska
commentary from Azeem Hill, Fred Pinguel, n Carolyn Lazard
BATTLEFIELD REPLICA SYMMETRY RETROSPECTA - Moor Mother
THE 40TH ST. CON - Skribbly LaCroix
CONSTANTEMIEDOCONSTANTE - Natis
DISTRICTS - Aja Beech
FLYBOYS - Billie Blazer
G.P.S. - Althea Baird
LIFE ONLINE WORKSHEET - Eighteen & Ras
PORTRAIT OF THE ACTIVIST AS A YOUNG SUPER-HERO - Alex Smith
BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM - Rasheedah Phillips

2013 ARCHIVE SPECIAL

JOURNAL OF SPECULATIVE VISION & CRITICAL LIBERATION TECHNOLOGIES: PILOT + SE01 EP01

FULL PDF
Gentry
Yolanda
The Great Collapse and Our New Community
D.I.Y. Wormhole
IS SCI-FI POLITICAL: Our intentions
In Which Afro-Barista Dreams of a White Dwarf Star

PILOT EPISODE - THE POLITICAL

Hello Hello - Shane Jenkins
The PTSD - R.Phillips
Redundancies - Warren Longmire
Culling the Herd - C. Renee Stephens
Cyborg Apocalypse - M Eighteen Téllez
Networks
Resource Spotlight
Crew Love

EPISODE 01- SPACE INVADERS

The Adhesion of the Eyelids - Patrokolos
A 21st Century Mind Revolution - Melissa Moore
Creating New Space-Times - R. Phillips
centerfold - Pyroglyphics/Shawn Alleyne
Networks
Resource Spotlight
Crew Love

AUDIO & VIDEO

LISTEN

DESIRE HOPE DESPAIR Speculative Storytelling podcast
DEBRIEF: (1) SOFT TARGETS (2) LASER LIFE
YOU HAVE 4 MESSAGES
A Glimpse at Death - Dystopian Fiction x Grind Music
Performance: Sent(a)Mental Project

WATCH & LISTEN

DEBRIEF: (1) SOFT TARGETS (2) LASER LIFE
Our Church LASER LIFE: a video recap
Smut, Cyberspace, and Hard SF: A video situation with Ras and R.Phillips
This is Our Church: A Laser Life Recap
In Which Afro-Barista Dreams of a White Dwarf Star
FILE THIS SHIT UNDER THE GENRE OF GOOD: Laser Life, the lifeblood.
THE WORLD HAS MOVED ON: A Wednesday evening
NODE CONSTRUCTION: A SUNDAY AFTERNOON
PERFECT TEXT BASED WIT: Ras Mashramani reads at Moonstone Arts Center
"Jenna is making love to a woman wearing a Louis Vuitton hazmat Suit . . ."
Previously at the Laser Life . . .

WORKSHEETS & POSTERS

#LIFEONLINE Worksheet PDF
WEAPONS OF PERCEPTION Poster PDF

REVIEWS

No Spoilers Beyond Episode 1 anime review series continues! Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
The Town Without Me / finally some anime
Alex Smith in Stories For Chip
"Elysium" by Jennifer Marie Brissett
Why I Kinda, Sorta Don't Really Totally Love the Edy Hardjo's "The Secret Life of Super-Heroes" or Whatever
What's That On Her Bookshelf: Our year-end media picks
Media Blackout: Game one of our media review series